I leave my apartment early tonight, thinking I might as well take advantage of traveling into the Lusty Lady to absorb some of the San Francisco scenery before starting work. The air is crisp and clear. I protect myself from the early darkness and chilling weather with plenty of layers, leaving only my cheekbones and fingertips exposed.
Reaching BART I realize I've just missed my train, the next one arriving in 17 minutes. I pull out my book Unrepentant Whore, the collected works of Scarlot Harlot, taking care to hide the cover picture of a naked curvy red-headed woman from other expectant passengers. As the minutes go by more and more people headed to the city crowd around the black squares on the platform, encircling my spot at the very front and center; I snap my book closed in fear of having curious eyes read over my shoulder.
Despite my efforts I can tell I'm found out as a pretty dark-haired late-20-something woman nudges her masculine date and points her eyes downwards at what is in my hands. My work bag alone can seem innocuous enough with its pink and gold stripes pointing to nothing but whimsy and eccentricity, but paired with the boxed clearance Halloween heals dangling from my other arm my late-night profession is an easy guess. Damn, I should have remembered to stuff them in a canvas bag before I left...
Self-concious I slide my bags as far under the seat as they will possibly go, hoping the visual dissection will be thwarted. Approaching my stop I shoulder my things and wait before the sliding doors, ready to escape the suburban yuppies coming to eat at 4-star restaurants and to see award winning plays and operas.
Above ground another, older, couple who had been stuck immdeiately behind me on both escalators rolls their eyes in my direction as I start my 10 minute climb into North Beach. I can see the projected stereotypes in the whites of their eyes, the misunderstanding, the misused adjectives, and misnomers.
Instead of soaking up the beautiful San Francisco skyline on my trek I am instead lost in thought and at a loss entirely.